Aseethe’s unrelenting slow-doom is often compared to drone music because of its core repetitions. This distinctly non-metal approach combined with harsh vocals and unusual samples gives Aseethe a unique voice among metal’s boundary pushers. On Hopes of Failure (2017), the Iowa band’s primary influences of doom and drone share a similar ethos, but rarely do they converge with as much restraint, and patience, drawing on inventive sound sources and distorted, just enough, to add some sludge. Aseethe is the direction that heavy music is moving in.
Aseethe guitarist/vocalist Brian Barr initially started Aseethe as a solo project to explore a more doom-oriented sound. Barr was soon joined by Eric Diercks on drums and samples, who brought to the project a love of new music and ability to provide rhythmic complexity to Aseethe’s steady, dark march. The current trio was formed when Brian’s brother Danny Barr joined on bass and vocals.
Aseethe’s self-released albums, with the exception of their 12” limited edition of Barn Owl covers (only 100 copies made) that extracted a Barn Owl riff into a side-long piece, have been largely noise-influenced soundscapes. Hopes of Failure strips away much of those elements into the bare essentials focused on methodical, and crushing music by devoting all attention to creating mammoth-sized riffs. The meditative component of Aseethe’s sound remains driven by an inward focus, a stare down the caverns of depression. Lyrically Brian and Danny contemplate the steady, exponential decay of modern society. The juxtaposition of these reflections are best articulated in closing track “Into the Sun,” which also features the rare appearance of melodic vocals:
“Reach further for hopes of failure
Your body is breaking down
Build further the bridge we need”
Since the band’s inception, Aseethe has been dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a heavy band. Their pummeling and extended pieces are as enveloping as a drive through the Iowa cornfields of their home. Their drone influence and the dark lenses through which they view the world are a confluence of ingredients that are at once deliberate, devastating and exhilarating.